How Do I Choose the Perfect Veterinary Hospital for my Pet?

Whether you have moved to a new area with your dog or cat, you have recently adopted a dog or

Choosing the Perfect Veterinary Hospital for my Pet

This veterinarian is so connected with her patient, that they even dress the same!

cat from your local shelter, or you purchased a new puppy from a breeder or pet store, finding a veterinary hospital is an important part of preparing your new life for you and your new furry companion. We live in a special time for the veterinary industry. There are many veterinary hospitals across the country, and the diversity of the available hospitals can be staggering.

Finding the right veterinary hospital, where you can feel comfortable trusting the health and welfare of your pet to their medical expertise, is important to ensuring that you have an advocate available when you need someone. When selecting the best place for you and your pets, here are some characteristics of veterinary hospitals to consider:

Do you and your pet feel comfortable in the physical space of the veterinary hospital?

When you enter into the hospital, is it free of odors? Is the hospital calm and peaceful? Is there bustling activity? Is the noise overwhelming? Do the staff who greet you seem to enjoy their work?

Take into consideration the preferences of your pet as well. Some cats may prefer a separate cat entrance. Large dogs may prefer bench style seating where they can sit next to you while you wait for your appointment. Is it simple to get your cat’s carrier from the car into the building? Is there a comfortable place for your dog to relieve herself before the car ride home? All of these little details can make the difference between an easy trip to the veterinarian, or a more challenging one.

Can you communicate and develop a trusting relationship with your Veterinarian?

Finding a veterinary professional who can understand your concerns, has a good rapport with your pet, and has considerable expertise to address your pet’s needs is very important. Veterinarians all have different personalities and communication styles. Finding one who is compatible with you is imperative to ensuring that your pet gets the best care possible. Consider how you may want to best communicate with a veterinarian. Do you prefer a doctor who will email answers to your questions? Do you want to interact with them through social media? Do you want a doctor who is efficient in the exam room, or one who will spend an hour chatting with you? When you meet a veterinarian for the first time, ask questions about how best to communicate with them to ensure that their capabilities are compatible with your expectations.

Just as important as finding a veterinarian, who you can communicate with, is ensuring that the

Perfect Veterinary Hospital and Pet

Finding a hospital with friendly staff is very important!

veterinary support staff is similarly as accessible and friendly. In most instances, you will be communicating with support staff more than the veterinarian! Choose hospitals where the client service and technical staff is happy to be there, and interested in your needs.

Does the veterinary hospital have the available services you are looking for?

Veterinary hospitals differ widely in the services that they offer to clients. Whether you are looking for a practice that focuses on wellness and preventative care, practices with specialty medicine offerings, practices with available boarding and grooming services, evening appointment hours, emergency and urgent care, or alternative medicine services, you are bound to find a practice in your area that will meet your needs.

Veterinary hospitals are also diverse in their size and ownership descriptions. There are still many one to two doctor practices that are privately owned for pet owners to find. In addition, several large corporations have opened many veterinary hospitals across the country (Banfield and Veterinary Centers of America for example). There are also many hospitals that employ many veterinarians for their clients. Finding a practice that is the right size with the right available services is as important as finding the right veterinary professional.

Tour the veterinary hospital before committing to an appointment!

Before making your first appointment at a hospital that you expect will meet all of your needs, schedule a visit for a tour of their facility. Most veterinary hospital staff will be delighted to show off their facility and abilities in order to earn your business and trust.

By keeping these preferences and aspects of veterinary practices in mind when searching for your next veterinary hospital, you will be certain to make a choice that will ensure the health and well-being of your dog or cat for years to come.

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Angela Linvill

Angela has been the Hospital Administrator of a multi-specialty/ emergency/ and general practice veterinary hospital since 2005. She is also the Chair of the Contra Costa County Employer Advisory Council. Angela has a Masters of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Troy University. She is committed to helping pet owners make good decisions about the health care of their pets regardless of their financial situation.

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